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Purchasing a firearm and the Federal Firearms License (FFL)

What is an FFL?

In 1968, former President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into federal law the Gun Control Act of 1968. This legislation exists to regulate the firearms industry and largely involves the regulation of interstate commerce pertaining to firearms. A primary objective of the law is the prohibition of the interstate transfer of firearms, except among those who are licensed to do so. To combat this, a provision was included for the institution of the Federal Firearms License (FFL), a license designed to enable individuals or businesses to engage in interstate and intrastate commerce (manufacturing, purchasing, or sale) pertaining to firearms.

Purchasing a firearm online

Unless you hold a valid FFL, you will not be able to purchase a firearm directly from an online retailer (with few exceptions). You will have to contact an FFL holder within your state to provide transfer services. When you have made the decision to purchase a firearm online, follow these steps to ensure a smooth transaction:

  1. The first and most obvious step you will take when purchasing a firearm online is locating the firearm you would like to purchase. For the purpose of this instructional, we will assume that you will purchase a firearm from
  2. After deciding to do business with, the next step you will take is locating a valid FFL holder in your state to transfer the firearm for you. The services the FFL holder will provide include: receiving the weapon from and completing the background check and necessary paperwork required of a person purchasing a firearm. Most pawnbrokers and gun dealers hold FFL’s and will perform transfers for a small fee. If you are having trouble finding a local FFL holder, the following link is a great resource:
  3. Once you have located a valid FFL holder in your state, you should contact the holder and notify them that you would like to purchase a firearm from and wish to have them provide the transfer services. If the holder accepts, then they will fax a copy of their FFL to
  4. For purposes of courtesy, your next step should be contacting and notifying us of the FFL holder that will be providing transfer services for you. It is likely that we have already received a copy of the FFL and are aware of your intent to purchase a firearm from us. You should then make your way to our website and complete the purchase of the firearm. Remember, the shipping address must match the address listed on the FFL of the holder that will receive the firearm.
  5. Once the sale is completed online, will ship the firearm along with your contact information, a sales receipt and our FFL to the local FFL holder performing the transfer. The FFL holder will contact you and notify you that your firearm has arrived. Provided you have passed the background check and completed all necessary paperwork, your firearm will be available for pickup. is proud to offer transfer services to our Maryland customers and offers some of the lowest fees around.

- $25.00 (Non-Regulated)

- $35.00 (Regulated) + $10.00 for the Maryland State Police Application fee

Before purchasing a firearm…

Before you begin your transaction, check all state and local laws to ensure that all aspects of the transaction are legal.

Remember, to purchase a regulated firearm (handgun or assault rifle) in Maryland you must be at least 21 years old. To purchase a non-regulated firearm (rifle or shotgun) you must be at least 18 years old.